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The X-Files – Roland (Review)

Roland is an episode that works much better than it really should. On the surface, it has many of the same problems as Born Again, to the point where it seems like “angry spirits” take up a disproportionate amount of Mulder and Scully’s case load. The filming and broadcast of Born Again and Roland in rapid succession probably points to the kind of pressure that Carter and his crew were under towards the end of the first year – both episodes play a lot better spaced out, and having the room to shuffle the production order on the two stories probably would have helped them seem less derivative.

And yet, Roland is elevated by a superb guest performance. Željko Ivanek isn’t the first stellar guest star that we’ve seen this year. Doug Hutchinson was perfectly cast as Tooms, and Brad Dourif did a marvellous job as Luther Lee Boggs. However, Ivanek might be the first guest star on The X-Files to elevate an otherwise bland episode through the sheer force of his performance.

It doesn't suck or blow...

It doesn’t suck or blow…

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Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Omnibus (Review/Retrospective)

Stephen King’s Dark Tower Omnibus is an absolutely stunning collection. It might, in terms of production value, be the finest hardcover that Marvel have ever produced in their prestigious omnibus line. Ignoring the issue of content, it’s hard to think of any collection that looks or feels more impressive than this massive slipcase edition, housing two gigantic tomes of King’s iconic lore. One volume reprints the first six story arcs of Marvel’s Dark Tower series, all written by Peter David and stunningly illustrated by Jae Lee. The second book contains all manner of supplementary material – from interviews with the creators, to sketches, to prose pieces and background information on King’s absolutely monumental fantasy epic. While the comic book itself might have some flaws (some serious, some less so), there’s absolutely no faulting the skill and care that went into crafting this deluxe special edition.

A towering accomplishment?

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